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Utah Sports Betting Updates

Sports betting is illegal in Utah. There is no indication that retail or online sports betting will be available anytime soon in UT.

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Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in Utah 2022

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Sports betting sites are not available in Utah. However, sports fans in UT can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Utah Sports Betting Summary

Online and retail sports betting, and all other forms of gambling, are illegal in Utah. This is primarily due to the history of the Beehive State being closely linked to the Mormon faith. As of 2018, 62% of the state’s population is Mormon. This religious group demands a vice-free life, and gambling is considered one of the faith’s vices. The influence of this view is evident in the state’s constitution, which includes bans on gambling. In addition, Chapter 10, Part 11 of the Utah criminal code says that even if online gambling is legalized on a federal level, it will remain illegal in the state.

The state seems more interested in pari-mutuel horse racing betting rather than sports wagering, but the chances of any gambling laws being relaxed in Utah are slim. Pari-mutuel wagering was voted on in the 1992 ballot, with only 39.7% of the state in favor of its legalization. Senator David Hinkins tried introducing a horse racing betting bill in 2019 but found almost no support among legislators.

Read our guide to Utah sports betting to find out alternative ways to wager if you are a Utah resident, the latest news on sports betting, and the top sports teams to follow in the state.

Utah Online Sportsbooks Summary

Utah has been firm in its stance against online sports betting, passing HB 108 in 2012 to prohibit all forms of online gambling. This was before the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which allowed each state to legalize sports betting.

Utah’s criminal code explicitly forbids online gambling, as per Chapter 10, Part 11:

“If any federal law authorizes internet gambling in the states and that federal law provides that individual states may opt out of internet gambling, this state shall opt out of internet gambling in the manner provided by federal law and within the time frame provided by that law.”

There is almost no chance Utah will join the list of legal betting states in the near future. Online and pari-mutuel horse racing also fall under the state’s strict gambling laws. However, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are not outlawed in the Beehive State, so some of the biggest operators like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel are available.

You can visit Utah’s neighboring states and place legal online sports bets. There are 18 online sportsbooks in Arizona, including BetMGM, Caesars, and local brands like SaharaBets. Colorado has one of the most competitive sportsbook markets in the US, with 26 different brands available.

If you visit Nevada, you can use one of 15 online sportsbooks with local brands like SuperBook and huge US operators such as WynnBET and Golden Nugget Sportsbook. Meanwhile, Wyoming has an online-only sports betting market with FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings available.

Latest Utah Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Utah

Sports betting and gambling of any kind is illegal in Utah. The state is strongly influenced by the Mormon faith, which perceives gambling as a vice. The prohibition on gambling is included in the Beehive State’s constitution and would need a public vote to be changed. It is therefore very unlikely sports betting will be legalized in the near future.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Utah

  • March 5, 2020: Sen. Hinkins withdraws SB 181 under pressure from other Senators.

  • February 18, 2019: Sen. Hinkins introduces SB 181 to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in Utah for the first time since 1927.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This allows individual states to determine the legality of sports betting.

  • November 3, 1992: Utah holds a public referendum on pari-mutuel horse racing betting. However, only 39.7% of voters support pari-mutuel wagering, and Chapter 10, Part 11 of the Utah Criminal Code is not amended.

Utah Sports Betting Background

Utah’s aversion to gambling began in the mid-1800s when Mormons settled in the state. According to the Book of Mormon, gambling is a vice and should be avoided. The first anti-gambling law was introduced in 1851, focusing on the ‘Suppression of Gaming.’ This was exacerbated by a law that forbade all forms of gambling from 1895.

Utah briefly legalized pari-mutuel gambling in 1925, with the promise of the organization of a state horse racing commission enough to convince voters to back the proposal. However, this type of betting was made illegal again in 1927 after corruption charges against the racing commission.

Future of Utah Sports Betting

There is little hope that sports betting will be legalized in Utah soon. Considering the ban on gambling is in the state’s constitution, a public vote would need to pass for any changes to be made. Utah betting fans, therefore, need to travel to neighboring states to wager legally for the foreseeable future.

Utah’s Sports Betting Locations

Utah is one of the few US states that does not have land-based or online casinos. Most states require sportsbooks to partner with a casino or sports venue to launch an online betting site, but if Utah ever passes any sports betting laws, it will likely follow the Tennessee model and legalize online gambling only.

Utah residents looking to place wagers in person can visit neighboring states like Nevada, where there are 187 retail sportsbooks. Colorado also has legal retail betting, with most of its 17 retail casinos spread across Black Hawk, Cripple Creek, and Central City. There is also Arizona, which has ten retail sportsbooks at casinos and two sportsbooks at sports venues. You can cross the Four Corners Monument and visit five tribal casinos with sports betting.

Utah Lottery Locations

Utah is one of eight US states that do not have a state lottery. The lottery is considered a vice under Mormon teachings, and Article VI, Section 27 of Utah’s state constitution explicitly forbids the lottery.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

While horse racing is legal in Utah, betting on horse racing is not. Therefore, there are no off-track betting facilities in the state. The last time pari-mutuel wagering was available in Utah was in 1927.

There are some large sporting arenas in Utah, such as the Vivint Smart Home Arena (Utah Jazz) or the Rio Tinto Stadium (Real Salt Lake). Due to the strict anti-gambling laws, it is unlikely that either stadium will ever partner with a sportsbook.

Utah Responsible Gambling Resources

  • Utah National Council on Problem Gambling – Provides a 24/7 live chat and helpline and guidance towards problem gambling help resources. (800) 522-4700

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings where problem gamblers can share their experiences anonymously. It also offers a recovery program and 20 self-test questions. (801) 758-8890

There is no legal gambling available in Utah, so there are no measures to prevent problem gambling. National organizations operate in the state to help those struggling.

Teams to Bet on in Utah

  • Pro Sports

Utah Jazz: The Jazz started life as the New Orleans Jazz in 1974, relocating to Utah in 1979. After a decade of struggles, the Jazz became one of the best teams in basketball during the 1990s, led by Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone. The duo propelled the Jazz to consecutive NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Recent years have been fruitful for the Jazz, with division titles in 2021 and 2022, including the best regular season record in the former. The departure of stand-out defensive player Rudy Gobert in July 2022 will leave a hole for the Jazz to plug in upcoming seasons.

With just one major league sports team available in Utah, some fans offer their allegiance to franchises based in nearby states. The most popular teams are listed below:

Arizona Colorado Nevada
Arizona Cardinals (NFL) Denver Broncos (NFL) Las Vegas Raiders (NFL)
Phoenix Suns (NBA) Denver Nuggets (NBA) Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL)
Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Arizona Coyotes (NHL) Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

There are several minor league teams that Utah sports fans can get behind. For example, baseball fans can follow the Salt Lake Bees, a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. The team plays at the 15,000-capacity Smith’s Ballpark, the largest ballpark in the Pacific Coast League West Division.

The Bees have won eight division and three conference titles but have yet to capture the league title. They have several notable former players, but the standout is ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz. The famed Red Sox slugger played for the Salt Lake Bees in 1997 before setting out on his MLB Hall of Fame career.

If you like ice hockey, the Utah Grizzlies play in the Western Mountain Division of the ECHL. Playing at the Maverik Center, the team is affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche. While only missing out on the playoffs twice from 2005 to 2022, the team has never won the Kelly Cup.

There is already an NBA franchise in Utah, but basketball fans can also watch the Salt Lake City Stars in the NBA G-League. The team moved from Idaho to Utah in 2016 and is affiliated with Utah Jazz.

Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake City is an MLS franchise founded as an expansion of the league in 2004. Playing soccer at the Rio Tinto stadium, the team won the MLS Cup in 2009 and were runners-up in the 2010/22 CONCACAF Champions League.

  • College Sports

BYU Cougars: The Cougars represent Brigham Young University and will compete in the West Coast Conference until July 1, 2023. After this, the team is moving to the Big12 Conference. BYU has won National Championships in men’s and women’s cross country and volleyball, among other sports. The BYU Cougars football team plays in the biggest stadium in Utah, the 63,000-capacity LaVell Edwards Stadium. Named after the Cougars’ greatest ever coach, Edwards’ teams won a National Championship and 19 conference titles during his reign from 1972 to 2000.

Southern Utah Thunderbirds: Southern Utah University is home to the Thunderbirds, with 15 varsity teams competing in the Western Athletic Conference, having left the Big Sky Conference in June 2022. The men’s basketball team has made the NCAA tournament once, losing to 7th seed Boston College in Round of 64 in 2001.

Utah Utes: The University of Utah hosts 19 varsity teams competing in the Pac-12 Conference. The Utes have won 24 National Championships, more than any other school in the state. 14 of these National Championships have come across co-ed and men’s skiing. The women’s gymnastics program has also won nine National Championships. The men’s basketball team has the 14th highest win percentage in the history of NCAA Division I basketball up to 2022, which has led them to one National Championship in 1944.

Utah State Aggies: Playing their games in the Mountain West Conference, the Aggies represent Utah State University. The Aggies football team plays their games in the FBS and has made multiple bowl appearances in their history. Their all-time record in bowl games is 6-9, most recently winning the LA Bowl against Oregon State in 2021. The Aggies’ home is Maverik Stadium, which has seen some great players in Aggies’ colors such as Merlin Olsen and future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner.

Utah Tech Trailblazers: Utah Tech University was known as Dixie State University until July 2022. The Trailblazers are in the process of moving up to Division I, and this process will be complete by July 2024. Until then, the Trailblazers are unable to compete in NCAA postseason activities. 15 varsity teams are competing in the Western Athletic Conference.

Utah Valley Wolverines: The Western Athletic Conference hosts the Wolverines of Utah Valley University. The women’s basketball team competed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in their history in 2021, losing in the first round to top seed Stanford.

Weber State Wildcats: The Weber State University Wildcats compete in the Big Sky Conference. Famed as a basketball school, the men’s team has scored several notable upsets in NCAA Tournament history. In 1995, the Wildcats beat 3rd seed Michigan State, and in 1999 the Wildcats beat 3rd seed North Carolina, who had made the Final Four in the previous two years. The most famous Wildcat in recent years is outstanding point guard Damien Lillard.

  • Women’s Sports

There are no professional women’s sports teams in Utah, but there could be in 2023. The Utah Royals FC was a women’s professional soccer team playing in the National Women's Soccer League from 2018 to 2020. The team then relocated to Kansas City, where they became known as the Kansas City Current. Utah Soccer LLC has the option to bring back the Utah Royals in 2023, so women’s professional sports may be returning to the Beehive State.

How Does Utah Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

Looking at states near Utah gives an indication of what a sports betting market in the Beehive State could look like. Nearby states like Arizona and Colorado welcomed sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars. Most betting sites have NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL markets. You’ll also find a variety of betting lines on niche sports like MMA, NASCAR, and European soccer. These states also allow betting on college sports.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

The sportsbooks in Utah’s neighboring states have some of the most competitive odds in the US. Colorado, for example, has 26 online sportsbooks competing for attention. These betting sites offer generous betting lines on all sports to stand out from the crowd. Most sportsbooks, like Caesars and WynnBET, offer the same odds in every state.

  • Gambling Revenue

While Utah has many states around it with legal sports betting available, the best comparison to illustrate how much revenue the Beehive State is missing out on is Iowa. Utah has a very similar population (3.3 million) to Iowa (3.2 million). Iowa has no major league sports teams, whereas Utah has its NBA franchise. As of July 2022, Iowa has handled $4,137,993,566 with sports betting revenue of $254,824,394. With a sportsbook tax of 6.75%, the state has collected $18,296,728. Utah could bring in similar tax numbers if it legalized sports betting.

  • Betting Taxes

Everyone in the US must pay tax on sports betting winnings to the IRS. You need to declare all your winnings, and if you win over $600, you can complete a W-2G form. Sportsbooks can also hold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. Most states also include your sports betting winnings in your state income tax, which is 4.85% in Utah.

In addition, sportsbooks need to pay an excise tax of 0.25% of every monthly betting handle according to the Internal Revenue Code. The Code also states that operators need to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking wagers.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Utah?

Currently, there is no sports betting regulator in Utah because all forms of gambling are illegal. If sports betting legislation passes, it will include the creation of a regulatory body. The regulatory body will be responsible for enforcing the state’s sports betting rules, including stipulating safety regulations and licensing any sports betting companies.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Utah?

Sports betting in Utah is illegal and has been since 1850. The state strongly opposes any kind of gambling due to the influence of the Mormon faith, which views gambling as a vice. The Mormons account for 62% of the state’s population.

Who would govern sports betting in Utah?

If sports betting is legalized in Utah, a new regulatory body would need to be set up by lawmakers. This regulatory body would be responsible for creating safety regulations and enforcing fair betting practices across the state.

How old would you have to be to bet in Utah?

Most states in the US have a minimum betting age of 21, and Utah would likely follow this trend. Before placing any bets in other states, you must prove your age with a valid photo ID. Utah would likely follow other restrictions, such as not allowing athletes or sportsbook employees to wager.

When will sports betting launch in Utah?

It seems sports betting won’t launch in Utah in the near future. There have been no attempts to legalize sports betting since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018. The Utah 2022 legislative session has ended, and the soonest lawmakers can theoretically introduce any sports betting is 2023.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Utah?

If online sports betting launches in Utah, you will be able to wager anywhere in the state. There are no obvious retail sports betting locations in Utah, so if sports betting were legalized, it would likely be a mobile-only market like Tennessee. Until then, you can visit neighboring Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming to bet.

Will sportsbooks in Utah be safe?

If sports betting is legalized in Utah, betting sites would be safe. Utah lawmakers would have to create a regulatory body to oversee sports betting and enforce safety standards and financial fairness measures to keep players safe.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Utah?

Yes, every player in the US needs to declare their betting winnings to the IRS so you would have to pay taxes on sports betting winnings in Utah if the market is legalized. You would have to fill out a W-2G form if you won more than $600, while you would also need to include your gambling winnings in your state tax income.

Can you play DraftKings in Utah?

No, you can’t play DraftKings in Utah because sports betting is illegal. You can visit Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, or Wyoming nearby to play DraftKings Sportsbook. However, you can access DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in UT.

Can you play FanDuel in Utah?

FanDuel is not accessible in Utah, and is unlikely to launch in the state anytime soon. You can visit a state where sports betting is legalized, and FanDuel is licensed like WY, CO, AZ, and NV. Alternatively, you can play FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in UT.

Can you play BetMGM in Utah?

You can’t use BetMGM in Utah because sports betting is not legal. If you want to use BetMGM to wager, you can visit Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, or Wyoming.

Can you play Caesars in Utah?

No, you can’t bet with Caesars because all forms of gambling are illegal in Utah. Caesars Sportsbook is available in Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado.

Can you play TwinSpires in Utah?

No, TwinSpires Sportsbook is not available in Utah. In addition, its online horse racing betting site is also prohibited. TwinSpires is currently shutting down its sportsbook in several states.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Utah in the future?

Sportsbooks in Utah will likely remain illegal for the foreseeable future. Many state residents have strong anti-gambling views, which will stop any prospective attempts to legalize sports betting. You can travel to neighboring states to wager or play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in UT.